Former special constable dismissed over offensive WhatsApp messages

A former Dorset Police special constable who shared “racially discriminatory and offensive” messages with colleagues in a WhatsApp group has been dismissed after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

Apr 18, 2024
By Paul Jacques

Jack Thrumble, now a serving police constable with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, was a Dorset special constable at the time the messages were sent two years ago.

An investigation was launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after it received a conduct referral from Dorset Police in 2022.

This led to the discovery of the “racially discriminatory and offensive language” used by PC Thrumble during a conversation relating to a dating app, said the IOPC.

At a hearing carried out at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary headquarters, conducted by an independent, legally qualified chair, it was determined that the officer had breached standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct. The panel gave a sanction of dismissal.

“Our investigators obtained accounts from police officers concerned, reviewed mobile phone downloads, relevant legislation and force policies,” said the IOPC.

“At the end of our investigation in October 2023 we advised Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary that PC Thrumble had a case to answer for gross misconduct. The force agreed and arranged the hearing.”

IOPC Regional Director David Ford said: “The messages PC Thrumble sent were offensive and racially discriminatory.

“Behaviour of this nature can seriously undermine public confidence in policing.

“The outcome of this hearing makes clear that the use of offensive language is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The former officer will also be placed on the police barred list.

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